Ask the Expert: Sitting a Bouncy Trot

How to deal with a bouncy trot in hunt seat equitation classes.


Q. I used to do well in my hunt seat equitation classes, but my new horse has a really bouncy trot. It’s fine when I post, but I have trouble holding my position while sitting his bouncy trot. If I slow my horse down so I can sit quietly, I get lapped by other competitors. Do you have any tips on how to camouflage the way my horse’s gait affects my position?

Hunter horse trotting at a horse show

A. Some horses naturally have smoother gaits than others. The sitting trot can be very difficult on some horses because sitting their bouncy trot can be very hard. Not knowing how old and how well trained your horse is, I would work on getting him as trained as possible. Work on lots of transitions from walk to trot (sitting and rising) and to the canter (collected and forward). The more collected and balanced you can get him the better off you will be. This will help with sitting his bouncy trot.

I would not be concerned if people are passing you by. If they are lapping you they are going too fast. One thing that may help is to stay on the inside track of the ring. Then it will appear that you are moving at the same speed as others. Also, in flat classes, show off the things you do well, such as the canter or posting trot, and be more discreet when doing the sitting trot.

Learn more about Hunter expert Patrick Rodes >>

Further Reading
Sitting Trot in Style


  1. My horse has a very bouncy trot and I know exactly how you feel. My traniner and I have been working on my seat and leg position at the sittng trot and it has helped tremendously at shows. Just sit up act like it’s no big deal.

  2. I’ve had these problems as well, and it was even harder to overcome them as I was riding a bouncy horse who was much too small for me. These tips are very helpful though.

  3. Sometimes my horse does the same thing and I tried some of these tips and they seem to work and my horse doesn’t feel as bouncy -or maybe I am getting used to it- but I haven’t shown yet but my trainer says I look better.

  4. Try the sitting trot without stirrups for a while – it helped me alot when i was trying to learn how to go with my horse. Hope it might help.

  5. Sounds like someone doesn’t have their horse collected and the back is hollow. Any horse is easy to sit if their back is up


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here